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Lawmaker Calls for Probe into the FDA’s Handling of Infant Formula Recall
U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro has called for a federal watchdog to investigate the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) handling of a recent recall involving infant formula. According to Consumer Reports, the request from the lawmaker comes after a sweeping recall by Abbott Nutrition of infant formula expanded this week after new reports of illnesses and two infant deaths associated with the products.
Call for Investigation
DeLauro wrote a letter to the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the FDA, expressing concern about the FDA’s slow response in pulling this potentially lethal infant formula from store shelves, which might have resulted in more illnesses and fatalities. The formula posed the risk of exposure to dangerous bacteria: Salmonella Newport and Coronobacter sakazakii, that latter known to be particularly deadly. The FDA along with the Centers for Disease Control says the reports of death and illnesses are being investigated. DeLauro said she is worried that the agency knew as far back in September about this potential link between cronobacter infection and the infant formula made by Abbott. At the time, FDA had an inspector in Abbott’s plant who uncovered numerous violations of federal safety rules that are designed to prevent this type of bacterial contamination. Similar issues were found by the FDA at the plant back in 2019 as well. The FDA did not warn consumers about the infant formula until a follow-up inspection in January uncovered cronobacter in several samples taken at Abbott’s facility. The recall from Abbott followed. The FDA inspection also turned up internal Abbott records that showed the company had previously destroyed products because of the presence of cronobacter. Abbott says the formula in question was destroyed in June 2020 after testing that is required before products can be released. The company insists none of the formula was distributed for sale.
The Need for Accountability
There is no question that the involved parties including the FDA need to offer an explanation as to why these dangerous and defective products – ones consumed by infants – were not recalled in a timely manner. It appears that the company as well as the federal safety agency knew that these products were potentially harmful to babies, but didn’t take that step to issue to the recall. Our California product defect attorneys join Congresswoman DeLauro in calling for answers from Abbott and the FDA. If you or a loved one has been affected by these contaminated infant formula products, please contact an experienced product defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights and holding the at-fault parties accountable. Source: https://www.consumerreports.org/baby-formula/fda-handling-of-infant-formula-recall-should-be-investigated-a4734536180/
Brian Chase is the managing partner of Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP. He is the lead trial lawyer and oversees cases handling dangerous and defective products that injure consumers. Brian is a top-rated attorney with many honors and awards for his work relating to auto defects and dangerous products. His firm has recovered over $800M for its clients.
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